Monday is the first day of the Detroit Lions’ offseason program which will end in mid-June with a mandatory minicamp.
It will be the first time that new acquisitions like Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker can work out with their Lions' teammates.
Following the stipulations of the collective bargaining agreement, the NFL offseason plan begins slowly.
Starting on Monday and during the first two weeks they are allowed strength, condition and rehab work only. Strength and conditioning coaches are allowed to work with the players but no other members of the coaching staff are allowed. Footballs can be used for punting and kicking. Also quarterbacks can throw to receivers who aren’t covered.
Coach Jim Caldwell and his staff can be involved in classroom instruction and film study up to two hours a day, but the player can’t be at the facility for more than four hours per day.
Phase Two lasts for three weeks and allows individual player instruction and drills. It also allows team practice without live contact, or team offense vs. team defense drills. Offensive or defensive plays are allowed, but without an actual defense or offense on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Helmets must be left in the locker room.
Phase Three, which last for four weeks with up to 10 days of practice, is technically known as organized team activities. No live contact is allowed in OTAs, but team drills (7-on-7, 9-on-9, 11-on-11) are permitted. Also, there can be no one-on-one offense vs. defense drills and no one-on-one special teams drills.
During the first two phases players can’t be at the facility more than four hours per day and or more than four days a week. Also, they can’t be on the field for more than 90 minutes a day.
The NFL randomly monitors practice tapes on each team to make sure the rules are followed.
In 2010, the Lions lost two days of OTAs due to the intensity and tempo of the drills under coach Jim Schwartz. Also the Lions were penalized for similar situations in 2006 under coach Rod Marinelli.
A year ago, Ndamukong Suh skipped the first two phases which are voluntary because he preferred to work on his own.
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